Lincolnwood Fire Department house fire St Louis 2-14-11

A basement fire at 6531 St. Louis in Lincolnwood burned for several hours on Monday causing major damage to this modern home. Larry Shapiro photo

The Lincolnwood Fire Department responded to smoke in the basement at 6531 St. Louis this afternoon and discovered a basement fire in a large two-story brick home. They were unable to extinguish the fire and upgraded the incident to a MABAS Box Alarm and then again to a 2nd Alarm bringing companies from Skokie, Evanston, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Wilmette, Glenview, Northbrook, Highwood, DesPlaines, plus Chicago Squad 2 and Chicago Engine 79.

Lincolnwood Fire Department house fire St Louis 2-14-11

Firefighters used the window wells and then breached the brick walls for access to the basement so they could direct water onto the fire. Larry Shapiro photo

The basement reportedly had a 9-foot ceiling and proved difficult to access. After companies went defensive, they initially accessed the basement with hand lines through the window wells. Later they breached the brick exterior in several places for better access to the basement with the ability to direct the lines with accuracy although the number of partitioned spaces made access that much more difficult. As the first floor gave way in several locations, this allowed additional access to the basement. As the basement filled with water, the fire continued to burn among the floor joists. This made hitting the varioius fires extremely difficult.

Lincolnwood Fire Department house fire St Louis 2-14-11

Several of the areas that were breached in the 'B Sector' are visible here. Larry Shapiro photo

Lincolnwood Fire Department house fire St Louis 2-14-11

Glenview Engine 6 dropped over 600' of 5-inch hose and tagged a hydrant at the south end of the block. Larry Shapiro photo

Thick smoke permeated through the entire house and an elevated master stream from Skokie Truck 16 was deployed for a short time into the second floor. Lincolnwood’s soon to be replaced Pierce aerial was also deployed at this fire which may prove to be its’ last.

Chicago Squad 2 and the 10th Battalion were due on the box and Engine 79 came in on the 2nd alarm. Although command began releasing companies around 7PM, several mutual aid companies remained working at the scene until after 10PM.

One firefighter was injured at the scene and transported to the hospital, his condition was unknown when this post was written.

Lincolnwood Fire Department house fire St Louis 2-14-11

Firefighters watch as a member of Chicago Squad 2 cuts through a section of the living room floor to gain access to another room in the basement. Larry Shapiro photo

Tim Olk and Larry Shapiro took in this fire. A gallery of images by Larry Shapiro can be seen HERE along with a video. Tim’s photos can be viewed¬†HERE.